TORONTO (Dec. 17, 2010)—A coalition of trade and consumer interest assocations in Ontario and automotive retailer Canadian Tire Corp. are calling on the Ontario government to implement credits and support insurance premium rebates for drivers who use winter tires.
“Installing four winter tires is the single most important step a driver can take to improve their safety on the roads in the winter,” said Brian Patterson, president and CEO of Ontario Safety League, a traffic safety organization involving business and community leaders.
On bad weather days, the South Central Ontario branch of the Canadian Auto Association experiences a spike in emergency roadside assistance calls. On an average winter day, the auto club responds to about 3,500 roadside calls, while the volume more than doubled to 7,500 calls during the first snowstorm of this winter, according to the Winter Driving Safety Coalition, a cooperative effort of five associations and big-box retailer Canadian Tire Corp.
“Insurance premium rebates will incent drivers to install winter tires, which will help reduce the number of crashes and improve safety on our roads,” said Nick Parks, president and CEO, CAA South Central Ontario. “That is why CAA SCO will be applying to the auto insurance regulatory agency for insurance premium rebates for our customers.”
A recent survey of Ontario drivers showed 55 percent had experienced a crash or car troubles due to poor winter driving conditions, the coalition said, while 64 percent said they do not have the same level of comfort driving in winter as during other seasons.
Fewer than than half of Ontario drivers use winter tires.
Besides the Ontario Safety League and the CAA/SCO, coalition members are: Ontario Hospital Association, Ontario Trukcking Assocation and Rubber Assocation of Canada.